Page images

men, advised him to take-away their arms and compel them to give-themselves-up to luxury and effeminate habits.

Subordinate Clauses in Oratio Obliqua.

Gr. 8 201. § 28. Rule for Subordinate Clauses in Oratio Obliqua. A Subordinate Clause in Oratio Obliqua, whether belonging to an Oblique Statement, Question, or Command, must under all circumstances have its Verb in the Subjunctive.

Note. Such sentences as, “Nuntiant Belgas, qui cis Rhenum incolunt, in armis esse,' appear to be exceptions to the above rule, but are not so in reality. The Clause

qui cis Rhenum incolunt' formed no part of the speakers' original words, and does not therefore belong to the Oblique Sentence, but is added by the author for the information of his readers.

If, then, in translating a piece of English which requires the employment of Oratio Obliqua, we feel any doubt as to whether a Subordinate Clause really belongs to the Oratio Obliqua or not, we must consider whether it originally formed part of the words or thoughts of the Person who is the Subject of the Principal Verb.

For example, ‘Caesar commanded his soldiers to break down the bridge which they had lately made. Do the words 'which they had lately made' belong here to the Oblique Command or not? To decide this we must ask ourselves the question, Did Caesar say to his soldiers ‘Break down the bridge which you have lately made,' or did he simply say “Break down the bridge'? If we decide that he only used the latter expression, the Subordinate Clause must be treated as an addition made by the narrator of the circumstance, and its Verb will be in the Indicative; but if it is probable that Caesar used the former expression, the Verb in the Subordinate Clause must be in the Subjunctive'.

In Oblique Sentences which are the subjects of Impersonal Verbs EXERCISE 11. It" is also to be observed that those who trusted in oracles were often deceived by ambiguous answers. It is on record that Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, before he made war upon the Romans, went to Delphi to consult the oracle, and that, the God having delivered this answer,

“Aio te, Aeacida, Romanos vincere posse ?,' whence it seemed to him to be signified that the Romans could be conquered by him, he thought* that nothing now prevented him from becoming the master of the world. Accordingly, having commanded that those who were of military age should accompany him, he set out for Italy, and there engaged in battle with the Romans. After several engagements he was at length defeated and perceived that it" had rather been signified by the God that he-himself could be conquered by the Romans.

· XII.
On Speeches reported in Oratio Obliqua.

Gr. SS 202, and 204-208. § 29. Oratio Recta and Obliqua. In reporting a speech delivered by some other person, if we reproduce his exact words, the report is said to be in Oratio Recta, and is

there is no reference to the words or thoughts of any actual Person, but the whole Oblique Sentence is to be regarded as a Conception, and a Subordinate Clause will be judged to belong to it or not according as it does or does not form a necessary part of the Conception. 1 8.

2 For the ambiguity, see $2. Aeacida means 'O son of Aeacus, and refers to Pyrrhus.

3 Unde, whence = a quo, and therefore introduces a Subordinate Clause.

4 Remember the Mood. The sentence runs thus, 'It is on record that Pyrrhus ... went to Delphi ... and that ... he thought,' &c.

5 8 8, Note.

usually introduced in Latin by 'inquit’ or some equivalent wordt. If we prefix 'that' and turn all the Pronouns and Verbs into the Third Person, the Report is said to be in Oratio Obliqua and is usually introduced in Latin by 'dicit,' 'dixit,' or their equivalents expressed or understood.

§ 30. Rule for Speeches in Oratio Obliqua. The Statements are put in the Infinitive; the Questions if of the First or Third Person are also in the Infinitive, but if of the Second Person they are usually in the Subjunctive; the Commands are put in the Subjunctive; and, lastly, all Subordinate Clauses must be in the Subjunctive.


Oratio Recta. Deinde dux, Thereupon the general ex• Arcem hostium,' exclamavit, claimed, 'I purpose storming

statim expugnare mihi in the enemy's citadel immediately. animo est. Quis mecum erit, Who will go with me, comrades? comites ? Expectatisně do- Are you waiting until the enemy nec hostes ultro arma tra- voluntarily give up their arms ? dant? Utrum dux an servus Am I your general or your vester sum? Expergisci- slave? Wake up! Make haste ! mini, festinate, arma parate, Get ready your arms, lest we

i The following examples of the introduction of Oratio Recta are from Livy, Book i :

c. 6. Quum verbis quoque increpitans adjecisset, ‘Sic deinde quicunque alius transiliet moenia mea.'

c.7. Ubi nomen patremque ac patriam accepit, ‘Jove nate, Hercules, salve,' inquit, ‘te mihi,' &c.

C. 10. “Jupiter Feretri,' inquit, 'haec tibi victor Romulus,' &c. C. 12. Romulus ... arma ad coelum tollens, ‘Jupiter, tuis,' inquit, jussus avibus,' &c.

C. 12. Haec precatus, veluti sensisset auditas preces, 'Hinc, inquit, *Romam,' &c.

C. 12. Mettius Curtius ... ab arce decucurrerat . . . clamitans, · Vicimus perfidos hostes,' &c.

C. 16. “Romulus,' inquit, 'Quirites, parens urbis hujus,' &c. c. 16. `Haec,' inquit, 'locutus, sublimis abiit.'

c. 17. Tum interrex, concione advocata, 'Quod bonum faustum felixque sit,' inquit, Quirites,' &c.

It will be seen that when 'inquit' introduces Oratio Recta, it never precedes it, but always occurs after the opening of the quotation, usually after the first word.

ne occasionem, quam nunc lose the opportunity which chance fors obtulit, belli conficiendi has now presented of finishing amittamus !

the war!' Oratio Obliqua. Deinde dux Thereupon the general exexclamavit, Sibi esse in animo claimed that he purposed stormarcem hostium statim expug- ing the enemy's citadel immenare. Quem comitum secum diately. Which of his comrades fore? Expectarentně donec would go with him? Were they hostes ultro arma traderent? waiting until the enemy volunUtrum ducem eorum an ser- tarily gave up their arms ? vum sese esse? Expergisce. Was h, their general or their rentur, festinarent, arma pa. slave? They must wake up, rarent, ne occasionem, quam make haste, and get ready their nunc fors obtulisset, belli arms, lest they should lose the opconficiendi amitterent.

portunity which chance had now

presented of finishing the war, Note. The rule that 'Questions if of the First or Third Person are in the Infinitive, but if of the Second Person they are in the Subjunctive,' is subject to two modifications, viz.

(1) Questions which are closely dependent on a Verb of asking or perceiving are put in the Subjunctive whether they are of the First, Second, or Third Person, being in fact ordinary examples of Oblique Question as explained above in $$ 18, 19. See Example (c) in footnote to § 33.

(2) Questions which in Oratio Recta were in the Subjunctive remain Subjunctive in Oratio Obliqua. Thus, quid faciant, what are they to do? would be quid faciant or quid facerent (according to the Tense of the Governing Verb) in Oratio Obliqua'.

§ 31. Pronouns in Reported Speech.

(a) All Pronouns in Speech reported in Oratio Obliqua must be of the Third Person. Hence, in changing from Oratio Recta to Oratio Obliqua,

ego, meus ... become se, suus.
tu, tuus ... become is or ille, ejus or illius.

i Caes. B. G. i. 40: Cur hunc tam temere quisquam ab officio discessurum judicaret ?

nos, noster ... become seipsos', suus.

vos, vester ... become ii or illi, eorum or illorum. Also hic, this, and iste meaning that of yours, generally become is or ille in Oratio Obliqua.

(6) Se and suus in Oratio Obliqua. When the Principal Verb of an Oratio Obliqua (i. e. the dixit, ait, &c., or their equivalents, on which the Oratio Obliqua depends) is in the Third Person, se and suus refer, as a rule, to the Subject of that Verb.

Occasionally, when no ambiguity is likely to be created, they are used in reference to the Subject of some Verb in the Oratio Obliqua itself?.

When the Principal Verb is an Impersonal or is in the First or Second Person, se and suus must always refer to the Subject of some Verb in the Oratio Obliqua itself.

(c) When -self, -selves, his own, their own, are required to be expressed in reference to some person other than the Subject of the Principal Verb, we generally find ipse, ipsius, ipsorum used.

A certain person asked whether Brutus had killed himself. Per. cunctatus est quidam Brutusne ipsum interfecissets.

1 Sometimes se alone, but the meaning is not so clear, as it might be taken as representing an 'ego' in Oratio Recta.

2 Thus, in a speech of Ariovistus, reported in Oratio Obliqua, Caes. B. G. i. 36, we find 'Si ipse populo Romano non praescriberet quemadmodum suo jure uteretur, non oportere sese a populo Romano in suo jure impediri.' Here the first suo refers to the subject of uteretur, the second to the subject of respondit, the Verb on which the whole reported speech depends.

Again, in the same chapter, 'Quod sibi Caesar denuntiaret, se Aeduorum injurias non neglecturum, neminem secum sine sua pernicie contendisse,' where sibi refers to Ariovistus, se to Caesar, secum to Ariovistus, and sua to neminem.

And just afterwards, in c. 44, 'Quid sibi (sc. Caesari) vellet? cur in suas (sc. Ariovisti) possessiones veniret ?'

On the whole, it is best to lay down as a rule that se and suus refer to the principal subject of discourse, which is usually, but not always, the subject of the Principal Verb.

3. On the other hand, cf. Caes. B. G. i. 40: 'Cur de sua virtute aut de ipsius diligentia desperarent?' Here sua refers to milites, ipsius to the Subject of the Principal Verb.

« PreviousContinue »